Dior’s rock stars and Yves Saint Laurent’s playboys for next summer
A warning to fashion-savvy men: get ready to strut your stuff next summer in a flashy way.
Hedi Slimane’s spring-summer 2004 collection for Christian Dior — nearly all in black and silver — was fit for rock stars, while Tom Ford reinvented the Yves Saint Laurent man as a 1970s playboy in vibrant colors.
The designers’ chosen venues reflected their divergent visions for next summer: while Slimane presented his collection late Monday in a cavernous hall at a Paris sports arena, Ford followed up with an intimate showroom display.
The one-two match-up was proof positive that the owners of the two labels — Christian Dior, the holding company of luxury goods group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, which controls YSL — would do anything to avoid similarities in style or form.
At Dior, the look did not change much from last season, with models seeming slightly nervous as they raced down the catwalk at a frenetic pace. Precise cuts shredded tee-shirts and jackets, while black jeans looked well-worn.
Slimane likes to play with fabrics: combining dull and shiny finishes on a coat with eye-catching sleeves, using transparent and opaque material to freshen up a simple tee-shirt, and even adding an iridescent sheen to trousers or a check suit.
Ornamental flourishes were everywhere: from studs and black crystals set into leather to tops made of strands of jet to wallet armbands. Thin, straight Dior ties are a must for next spring.
Among the glitterati attending Monday’s show was German designer Karl Lagerfeld, one of Slimane’s biggest fans.
At Yves Saint Laurent, Ford’s sunny creations for seductive ladies’ men on the prowl stood in stark contrast to Slimane’s underground clubbers.
The YSL man — sporting suits and shirts in loud colors, a scarf or a wide printed silk tie around his neck and ultra-cool sunglasses — will be sure to catch the eye of even the most hard-to-please female passers-by.
Orange jacket and a turquoise shirt or vice-versa? Ford gave men both options, along with a fine-knit orange rollneck sweater or brick red trousers.
Ford preferred rose and turquoise for swimsuits, but orange and blue for underwear — choices that won the approval of French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, the face of YSL’s new perfume Nu (Naked), seated in the front row. —AFP